Transition from your BSc to a MSc programme

By Luisa Fernanda

Have you wondered if it is possible to continue directly with a master’s programme right after finishing your bachelor’s at WUR? In this blog, we will share some information about transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate studies at WUR.

You have finished your bachelor’s studies so now you have your options open. You can either try to enter the work-life or you can decide to continue with a master’s programme. If you go for the second option, then there are some aspects to consider. For example, if you want to move to another place or if you should stay at the same university where you did your bachelor’s.

Continuing your master’s at the same university

A benefit to staying in the same university is that you already created your network and you know how the institution works. Also, since you have been living in Wageningen for around three years, you are familiar with the campus and the city. If you are one of those students that are looking to get into research and maybe get a PhD, it can be helpful to have the right connections with a teacher or a pre-existing relationship with the university.

If you decide to continue studying at WUR, you can start your master’s programme immediately after completing your bachelor’s degree. You can enroll on the 1st of the following month (if the BSc programme you studied is relevant to the MSc you have chosen).

But do not wait until the last minute to do this! You should start the procedure in advance since the moment you graduate from your bachelor’s will determine how to enroll for the WUR master’s programme. All the steps that you need to follow to make this switch can be found on the website.

Due to the effects of COVID-19 measures on education, WUR offers leniency in the bachelor-before-master rule to students.

The bachelor-before-master rule states that students have to obtain a full bachelor’s degree before they can start a master’s programme. However, if students experience such a study delay to finish the bachelor’s programme in time because of COVID-19 measures, they can still register for a master’s programme at WUR (under certain conditions). You can read about it here.

Most asked questions about studying a master’s

Let’s move now to some of the most common questions that can arise when you start to think about your master’s studies:

  1. What is a master’s degree?

A master’s degree is a graduate-level study that you can do after finishing your undergraduate study i.e. your bachelor’s degree. It is a high level of education in which people that have completed the studies are generally thought to have a thorough understanding of their field of study. At WUR, a master’s degree takes around two years to complete.

  1. Is it better for my professional life to have a master’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree?

This really depends on what type of job you would like to have and what you want to achieve. A lot of jobs don’t ask for you to have a master’s degree but there are some fields that require higher levels of education for you to advance your career. For example, Food Technology is a field where they encourage you to continue with a master’s programme.

  1. What are the key differences between a BSc degree and an MSc degree?

A bachelor’s degree mainly focuses on giving you the tools to build fundamental skills and provide you with a lot of core knowledge. In a master’s degree, you take a step up which means that your studies will be more independent and self-driven. You will engage in more advanced research methods and can specialise in the topic that interests you. That can also mean that you will require longer hours of self-studying.

  1. Should I start with my master’s degree right after my bachelor’s?

There is no perfect answer to this question. But I can tell you the two sides of it. If you continue right away, you will probably still be used to going to classes and studying for exams. This might make it an easy transition. It can also help you define earlier what your goals are. On the other hand, you might also be tired from your studies and need a change of scene. Getting some work experience gives you an advantage afterwards and you will be more sure of what you are actually looking for in a master’s programme.

  1. Do BSc and MSc programmes have the same number of European credits (ECTS)?

At Wageningen usually, bachelor’s programmes are comprised of 180 ECTS and Master’s programmes of 120 ECTS. You can read more about this system in our blog about earning credits.

Discover your options

Whether you are in the final year of your bachelor’s or if you are already working and thinking about studying a master’s, it is nice to get a general idea of what your options are. If you choose to stay/start at WUR, I suggest you do some research about the programmes and the opportunities you get to develop experience in your field. Talk to master’s students, visit an open day and discuss your ideas with your study adviser. And most importantly before you make a decision, make sure you’ve given it enough thought.





By Luisa Fernanda

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